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CMU students learn by leading

Camp Central benefits campers and mentors

Contact: Heather Smith

Sure, Camp Central for College Candidates shows nearly 100 seventh-graders what life is like as a college student.

But it also helps current Central Michigan University students expand and develop their professional skillset for life after college.

Twenty-four CMU students — many of them teacher education majors — serve as hands-on mentors at this annual summer science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) learning experience for Michigan middle school students on CMU’s campus in Mount Pleasant.

"The mentors are able to use leadership skills they have and develop new ones to gain confidence in their abilities," said Karla Linares, Camp Central director and educational leadership graduate student. 'This is important not only in the school setting but eventually in the workplace, where they can be successful collaborative partners in any field they go into."


Julia Van Dyke, of Jackson, Michigan, is a junior majoring in psychology and religion. She eventually wants to pursue a graduate degree in social work. This was her first year as a Camp Central mentor.

"Serving as a mentor is helping me with my career goals to work with these kinds of students," Van Dyke said.

The CMU College of Education and Human Services hosted the two three-and-a-half-day camps this week letting campers explore STEA​M careers and real-world projects such as robotics, coding, leadership development and conductive sewing. Other participating colleges were the College of Science and Engineering, The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions, and the College of Communication and Fine Arts.

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